At about this stage it was late on Friday night and I wanted to get cracking on the sump so that I could get the gasket maker curing.
Original sump was looking very Scottish, so glad to be seeing the back of it. Also quite weepy on the trailing edge, unclear so far if this was just the sump leaking or something higher up on the engine. My Exige had a very similar leak when I first bought it, but a sump swap didn’t fix it. It turned out to be the front crank seal, so that’s going to be one to watch.
Before removing the old sump, I gave the surrounding area of the block a good scrubbing. Oh, I also discharged the accusump as that stores a few litres of oil at various stages, so wanted to get as much out of it as possible. This is done simply by going ign live, but not firing the car and you can hear the oil slurping out of the accusump into the engine, and down into the sump.
Removing the sump was only a little bit awkward, a few taps with a mallet and then some tactical pry baring had it off. The original sump is held on with a combination of studs and bolts, but the studs are not long enough to take the thicker flange of the baffled sump so they needed to come out. All but one came out easily with a 2-nut method, the last one was just not playing ball at all. Nuts eventually stripped the threads on it, so onto molegrips. I didn’t have a stud extractor small enough, but eventually after much grunting - out she came, luckily leaving the engine block threads clean and intact.
No photos of the next 2 hours because it was pretty much me just laid on my back, tediously scraping at the old gasket maker with plastic blades. It took AGES, hate this job and every time I do it I swear I’ll never do it again. Whatever it costs for a specialist to do this job, is not enough… it’s worth every penny.
Eventually the flange was spotless, wiped down with acetone and went on to prep the new sump. My sealant of choice this time round is the Permatex anaerobic gasket maker, intended for aluminium flange to flange sealing and is left over from the supercharger rebuild I did on my Exige. Was really impressed with both how easy it was to work with, but also how easy it comes off if you need to re-do a job.
The Seriously Lotus sump comes with all new bolts, so no studs used at all for refitting. It’s lovely and light, so holding it up with one hand whilst lining the first few bolts up without completely smearing your sealant everywhere isn’t too difficult.
Looking much fresher under there already. While I was under there, I swapped the sandwich plate out for a Mishimoto one which would give me a convenient place to measure oil pressure. The Sump itself had a 1/8npt port that I’d use for temp.
I set the timer for 24hours, then went to bed.
Saturday early evening saw me putting the interior back in, not much to it. Didn’t get chance to go full detailing-world on the interior chassis but it did all get a good wipe down, removed some old glue spots and residue and gave the seats some Gliptone leather treatment. Perked them up nicely.
I think keeping the interior if this car clean is going to be like pissing in the wind, but I’ll do my best.
The gearknob on the donor shift linkage was a bit scuffed up from storage, so went to swap my mint one over… to find they use different thread sizes! Good old Lotus. The old knob is bigger than the new one in terms of thread, so I may just get an M10-M12 sleeve for the shift lever to allow me to use it. One for another day.
It was next time to hook up the gear cables to the gearbox. As I said earlier, I just eyeballed in the cable lengths - let the lever sit centred on its own and just put the crossgate cable on without it tugging one way or the other. The back/forth shift motion is a bit harder to get right because the stick doesn’t self centre in that direction, but used my best judgement and stuck it in.
First impressions were very strong, no excess play in the linkage and has a nice satisfying clunk clonk click soundtrack. The throw is slightly shorter than OE, I may explore changing that via the aftermarket gearbox-end of the linkage but for now I called it a day. Left the centre console exposed to allow easy adjustment once on the road/track.
Sometime on Saturday I also finished off the engine bay wiring, cut my sensor wires to length, pinned the sensor connectors and plugged everything in. The dashboard also needed some reconfiguring, nothing major but the conversions from F to C needed a bit of fettling on the canbus for coolant and the scaling for the oil/IAT sensors needed some work.
Once 24 hours had elapsed on the sump fitting, I slopped 7 litres of oil in (new sump turns the total 2zz capacity to 6litres, and I over filled a bit to recharge the accusump) but it was too late to fire up the car, so left it over night.
Come Sunday morning, there was a NYLOC (North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club) meet scheduled for around 10am which I quite fancied, introduce the 2-11 to the group and also was an ideal shakedown run. I had some work to do first, so got up at 7am to start tinkering.
First up I fired the car, ran for 30seconds or so and then fired off. This had charged the accusump back up, and as such the oil level in the sump had dropped again. I topped back up, repeated the process a few times until things settled down. Under normal operation, with the accusump fully discharged the dipstick should over read by 10-15mm and when the accusump has ~40psi of pressure in it, the dipstick should read bang on.
I whipped the car up and down the road before jacking up for one last leak check. The gear change was fantastic, I couldn’t believe how much better it was with zero adjustment. If I’m being uber picky, reverse is a teeny bit hard to grab - but I’m reluctant to even trying to fix it in fear of ruining the gears that count! It is 4 or 5 times better than original, I’m over the moon.
The car passed the leak check, so after a quick swap of some rusty fittings for shiny fittings- the undertrays went back on and we were ready for NYLOC.
Car drove great on the way there and back, it was ace to be back in it. Oil temps were high though.
I wasn’t initially concerned, figured I’d got the scaling wrong in the dash or something like that - but it was heating up quicker than I was used to on the Exige, and on the road was getting to the high 90’s which I NEVER saw in my Exige. High 90’s was more like what I would see after a 25 minute track session.
When I got home, I felt my oil coolers up front and they were both clap cold. Hmmmm. Trackday in 18 hours time, uh oh. The only part I could think of to blame was the thermostat in side the Mishimoto plate, it had been lobbed into storage after taking it off my Exige so perhaps the inexpensive thermostat component had broken. As luck would have it, I had a friend coming to stay for the night before the trackday to cut his journey down and he was able to bring me a spare from MrP80 so I could at least rule that out.
I took the thermostat out of the sandwich plate, and tested it in some hot water. It was a bit sticky initially, but it did work so I was not convinced this was to blame.
Chris arrived in his recently Honda converted S1 around dinner time, and as is standard for a Lotus coming to my house - we took it apart.
I put the spare thermostat into the 2-11 anyway, not being confident it would fix my problem but still it was worth ruling out. No time to properly test, as it was beer and curry time.